When beef is raised and slaughtered properly, graded USDA Prime (see picture), little else needs to be done to prepare a perfect steak. A little salt and pepper, perhaps some butter, au jus, or a splash of lemon after cooking. Conversely, when beef is raised poorly, much needs to be done to enhance and create tasty flavors. At Stoney River steakhouse, they take their seasonings seriously. The house featured steak is, get this, coffee cured filet mignon. Coffee you say? Correct. Furthermore, this chain seasons their standard steaks with a house blend which tastes like salt, pepper, garlic. When you go, they do give the option of a seasonless steak – which is for the bland palate.
TFL has patronized Stoney since it first appeared on the Atlanta food scene roughly over 10 years ago. The menu used to boast of Prime beef, an extensive and deep wine list, seafood and other non meat items to entice the ever expanding vegan audience. Recently it appears, the menu has changed and so has the product. Now all steaks are listed as “premium” beef (not USDA grade or terminology), and the Menu is no longer bound in leather but instead is the one page large posterlike that is done to perfection at Houston’s. There is still the house cured coffee filet, and lobster tails to be added to any entry for $16.99, and a strong wine selection. The entrees are no longer a la carte, but the prices seemed to have gone up. Interesting position in our recession mired economy. The appetizers hover around the $10 mark, and most of the cocktails appear on the check at a similar price. The rolls are still delicious donut like orbs served with honey butter – just don’t eat to many otherwise you will miss out on the food you actually have to pay for.
The bottom line Stoney delivers solid food, good drinks/wine, and great atmosphere – at top shelf prices. The locations in Atlanta continue to pack the rooms, and business does not seem much different than several years ago. Quality food always keeps them coming back in Atlanta even though the check can resemble a luxury car payment.
Here is TFL’s top 5 from Stoney River:
1. The Shrimp – They have not lowered their shrimp standards – Jumbo Gulf shrimp are available in the classic cocktail, panko fried, and our favorite, Whiskey Shrimp served on french bread toast garnished with fresh tarragon.
2. The Sides – Stoney goes over and above when it comes to side dishes; Velvety mashed potatoes with carmelized onions, creamy sweet potatoes with honey butter, freshly sauteed spinach, or huge baked pototoes with all the toppings.
3. The Seafood appetizer platter – Often done, but few are as tasty as Stoneys. You can pick and match any appetizers on the menu, but we suggest all shrimp options, scallops, crabcakes, and do not miss the lobster tail.
4. The Lobster – while about $10 more than Outbacks, these coldwater tails can be prepared in numerous fashions, but the tempura style is an Atlanta signature, first created by Panos at the Fish Market.
5. The steaks – We always judge a steakhouse by their NY Strip, and here it is prepared to perfection, and house seasoned. The Filet is also exceptional, and all cuts appear to be center cut. While they have foregone the USDA Prime graded beef, they do age and handcut all beef in house which ensures a consistent and good looking steak every time.